Catacomb Churches Uncategorized Religious Sites Around the World

Religious Sites Around the World

Religious Sites

Religious Sites are places that are holy and sacred to followers of certain religions. These places are often tourist attractions as well as places of spiritual importance to their adherents. Many different faiths have holy sites around the world and many of these sites are a part of the intangible cultural heritage that we possess on this earth.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of the most important Christian holy sites and it is a pilgrimage destination for Christians. It is believed to be the actual location where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. The site is considered to be the holiest place in Christianity and it is visited by millions of pilgrims from around the world each year.

It is also home to the tomb of Christ and it is believed to be the burial place of the Virgin Mary as well. The site is also home to the pillar of light that was said to be placed by Christ in the empty tomb and it is where the Holy Grail is believed to have been found by Saint Thomas.

There are many other Christian sites that are holy to followers of this faith such as the Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha that is a church built on the site where Christ fed the crowds. Another significant Christian site is the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem which is a very important pilgrimage destination for many Christians.

Located in the Old City of Jerusalem is the Western Wall that is known as the Wailing Wall. This is a very holy site for followers of Judaism and it is visited by millions of people each year. Those that visit the Western Wall pray by either verbally saying their heart’s desire or they write it down on a piece of paper and then place it in the cracks of the walls.

For Muslims there are many different holy sites that are of great significance including the Grand Mosque in Mecca that is a sight that millions of people from all over the world visit each year. Then there is the Temple Mount that is a very important holy site for Muslims and it is where they believe that the second coming of Jesus will happen.

The Shrine of Baha’u’llah in Acre, Israel is the most holy place for the Baha’i Faith. This is because the faith’s founder is enshrined here and the faithful will often face this shrine when praying.

The Baha’i Faith is a relatively new religion that is very different from the other major monotheistic religions. It teaches openness and inclusion and its adherents will often seek out and respect other faiths and the shrines that are associated with these faiths. This is a very interesting and unique aspect of the religion that has made it an extremely popular faith worldwide. The shrine is a beautiful building set in an idyllic garden space and it is very peaceful and serene to spend time here.

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Church ArchitectureChurch Architecture

Church Architecture

Church Architecture – Churches are places where people deliberately come together to build community, support one another and find strength for the challenges of daily life. Some are grand soaring edifices, others simple rooms, but all of them are places where believers seek to communicate with God and with one another in a way that is meaningful for them. Church architecture encompasses a broad spectrum of architectural styles from the ancient pagan basilica through modern buildings designed to reflect secular sensibilities. The history of church architecture is complex and reflects both the cultural evolution of Christianity as well as the changing liturgical practice.

Early church buildings largely followed the plan of the Roman basilica; this comprised an atrium (courtyard), a narthex (vestibule) at the west end, a nave with side aisles and a central bema for seating the congregation, and a semi-circular or square apse reserved for clergy. Later a transept was often added, extending the nave on a north-south axis and providing space for a choir or cathedra. In the 12th century this evolved into an eastern termination of either a lower apse, which is characteristic of Italy and Germany, or, as at Norwich Cathedral, a high vaulted apsidal end with a group of projecting radiating chapels known as a chevet.

The question that arises in the study of church architecture is to what extent and how architectural form should be determined by its liturgical function. Different periods show a variety of attitudes; for example, the Renaissance preference for centralized form promoted an architecture of merit that was largely undetermined by ritual requirements, while the baroque and 19th-century revivalism showed a greater determination to express liturgical function in architectural form.

Many churches were built on a large scale and were the property of wealthy local patrons; this may have resulted in an accretion of chantry chapels, tombs, memorials and fittings reflecting the particular interests of the donor. In some instances this may be evident in a unified design scheme, but in many other cases a clear articulation of the patron’s particular vision has been lost with the passage of time and the building’s subsequent changes.

Internally, a carefully conceived architectural scheme might also exist; this might be evident in the mosaic vaults of Orthodox churches or in the stained glass windows of medieval and Gothic structures. In more recent times, however, some churches have been designed without any unified architectural scheme and are simply functional spaces to accommodate the needs of the particular religious community. These new designs are frequently criticized for being more like museums than places of worship. Yet, the fact is that, for most of their history, churches have been very much designed to be a place where believers could gather in peace and in a spirit of contemplation. For that reason they remain an important cultural element in the world today. Michael DeSanctis is a professor of Fine Arts and theology at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania and a design consultant to Catholic parishes involved in construction or renovation of their church buildings.

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